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Archive for Wednesday, July 27, 2011

New KU business dean enthusiastic about reaching out to university community

Neeli Bendapudi, the new dean of the Kansas University School of Business, discusses how she's enjoying the job so far.

July 27, 2011

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Neeli Bendapudi, the new dean of the Kansas University School of Business is pictured Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in Summerfield Hall. Bendapudi came to KU from Ohio State University, where she served as a professor of marketing.

Neeli Bendapudi, the new dean of the Kansas University School of Business is pictured Wednesday, July 27, 2011, in Summerfield Hall. Bendapudi came to KU from Ohio State University, where she served as a professor of marketing.

It’s been a lot of meeting and greeting so far for Kansas University’s new business dean as she prepares to officially start work next week.

But Neeli Bendapudi is already on campus, and the people she’s met say the best word to describe her is “enthusiastic.”

She’s eager to meet faculty, students and staff, and said she wants to be open and accessible to each of them.

On her calendar already are 12 trips in the coming months to visit with donors and alumni, too. She’ll travel within the state at first, but also to places like Chicago, San Francisco, New York and Dallas.

“I believe in reaching people where they are,” she said.

She’ll be reaching students where they are, too. She said she plans to invite a few of them to The Wheel for a discussion, after hearing from a newly hired recent KU graduate that students often hang out there.

Bendapudi has a few other issues to tackle, too. She said she’ll be continuing to work on raising funds for a new building for the school. KU is preparing for a public launch of a new fundraising campaign, and the provost and chancellor have backed the effort, she said.

A potential site for the building has been identified northeast of the Chi Omega Fountain, near Potter Lake and Carruth-O’Leary Hall.

“I want the building to be a reflection of the greatness that’s already here,” she said.

Still, it’s not the walls that make a place, she said, and the school will continue to move forward.

During her first few days on campus, she’s been meeting with professors and staff members and using Twitter to send out updates on the professors’ research and other projects.

It’s a way to combat the old joke about being a professor, she said. Someone asks about the three best things about being a professor.

“June, July and August,” she said, adding that she hoped to dispel that perception as much as possible.

She’s also met with people outside the school, taking time to eat lunch with all the assistants to deans across the Lawrence campus, who meet a few times a year.

There, attendees of the lunch said, she spent an hour with the group, and was interested in both their personal lives and advice she could pick up from how their respective deans did business.

“She really, sincerely wanted our input,” said Anne Sawyer, assistant to the dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “She was very open and approachable. I think the business school has just scored a coup.”

Bendapudi said she’s eager for the full complement of students to arrive next month.

“I feel like I’m ready to throw a party and I’m waiting for my guests to arrive,” she said.

Comments

kuprof54 3 years, 4 months ago

She starts next week and has already started all of this? Wow, already accomplished more than Wuerst. Talk to students? What a concept! Be relevant to them at the Wheel? How insightful! Networking across KU to rebuild relationships, fundraising for a new building, and "I feel like I’m ready to throw a party and I’m waiting for my guests to arrive.” She sounds wonderful and refreshing. You doubters over the last two years will soon see the potential within the Business School and that the right decision was made. Fuerst will soon crawl away from embarassment when he starts seeing how easy Neeli will run the school and how well it will do under her leadership.

justmytwocents 3 years, 4 months ago

give her a few months. she will soon find out some KU students will not listen to any advice you give them because they think they know more or have a huge chip on their shoulder.

kuprof54 3 years, 4 months ago

That's not true AND her job doesn't revolve around students listening to her. It involves fundraising, establishing a strategic direction, managing curriculum, building relationships, building a worthwhile team of faculty, and improving the bschool's rankings and overall status. And maybe SOME of those students do know more than their profs. Try again.

justmytwocents 3 years, 4 months ago

What's not true? That some KU students, including business students, have entitlement issues? If you think that isn't true...wow.

oakfarm 3 years, 4 months ago

Andy should change jobs, to press secretary to the new dean. All the enthusiasm, travel, warm and fuzzies, thirty-year late building plans, and cliches in the world don't make up for a lack of a track record, no previous experience as a dean, zero fundraising, or having as her primary qualification that she is not Bill Fuerst. Try for some objectivity next time. Cheerleaders are for the football team.

kuprof54 3 years, 4 months ago

Students and faculty in that school would rather have the hind end of a horse as a dean than Billy Fuerst. So yeah, there is some excitement and cheerleading going on. And shes already accomplished more than he did. Heck, at least she's trying and getting a running start. He was doing good to show up to work every day and he never interacted with students. He called them products. Not a good way to interact or describe someone who is paying thousands of dollars to you.

kuprof54 3 years, 4 months ago

Well I wouldn't say that as knock against her, but as one against the HR prof that ran th committee and had to hire a firm to do his HR "job." Altho genius Vitter did agree to pay her in the top 97th percentile of all bschool deans. That includes harvard and other ivy league. Heck, we 're not even ranked. I guess if all you 've got to offer is money, you better stack it high.

oakfarm 3 years, 4 months ago

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oakfarm 3 years, 4 months ago

Let's face it. The KU business school is too small, too remote and too underfunded to be the mainstream, full-service, research and teaching school they have long wanted and claimed to be. Students can still probably graduate without ever seeing a business professor, just teaching assistants, lecturers, and retired 'executives'. Spending world-class money on a dean will not fix that; in fact, it is a step backwards. Were it not for basketball fans, rich Chicago kids, homebodies, and kids who find Lawrence to be the only attractive, affordable, fun campus between Boulder and Madison, you'd have no KU business school at all.

A knowledgable new dean would start by meeting and working with her own staff, meeting with other deans, and sending her assistants to meet with other assistants across campus, before meeting with those cross-campus assistants herself. And she'd meet with the group that the former dean was legally required to meet, and make nice, if only for the PR and credibility.

Jayhawk1888 3 years, 4 months ago

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oakfarm 3 years, 4 months ago

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Jayhawk1888 3 years, 4 months ago

You devalue your education when you drag it through the mud. I hope you're happier where you ended up. Just remember that, for many people, KU provided them a great education and they are grateful for the experience.

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